Politics, Moderate



New Regulations for Teacher-Prep Programs Overlook the Need for More Demanding Admissions Standards

CHICAGO -- After years of negotiations and input from education interest groups, teachers and their unions, the U.S. Department of Education recently released its revised Teacher Preparation Regulations, designed to help ensure that students get the best new teachers possible.

The idea is that if teacher-preparation programs transparently ...Read more

The Immense Value that Immigrants Have Always Brought to America

CHICAGO -- In a year in which immigrants have been dragged through the mud and certain politicians have called on them to be driven from this country, it's ironic (and heartening) that six of this year's Nobel laureates are American immigrants.

Five of them were born in Great Britain, the other in Finland, and all are affiliated with top-tier U...Read more

It's Up to Other Men to Check 'Locker Room Banter'

CHICAGO -- Last weekend, Donald Trump attempted to dismiss his comments about grabbing women by the genitals and kissing or groping them as mere "locker room banter." He implied that boys will be boys behind closed doors and we shouldn't get so worked up about it.

Thankfully, a raft of men took to social media and the opinion sections of online...Read more

Compelling Documentary on Unsung Latino Voting-Rights Advocate

CHICAGO -- Ten years after Mexican-American activist Willie Velasquez died, then-President Bill Clinton awarded him the posthumous honor of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, declaring: "No person in modern America who has run for public office wherever Hispanic Americans live has failed to feel the hand of Willie Velasquez. His appeal to the ...Read more

Don't Paint a Woman's Alcohol Dependency as Entertainment

CHICAGO -- Ever get the feeling that women are collectively crying out for help but no one is listening?

Scan the landscape of entertainment aimed at women and you'll find a theme: alcohol dependency.

Some of it is portrayed as fun -- there is a whole craft industry dedicated to "Wine O'Clock" and #WineWednesday home decor, and celebrities ...Read more

The Silliness That is Hispanic Heritage Month Cannot End Soon Enough

CHICAGO -- Thank goodness Hispanic Heritage Month is almost over. I'm not a fan, because who wants to be paid lip service for 30 days? And it's not even a proper full month, but the latter half of September and the early part of October.

Sure, several mid-September days mark the anniversaries of the independence of multiple Latin American ...Read more

Could a New Shift in Education Policy Help iImmigrant Students Master Both English and Their Home Language?

CHICAGO -- Years ago, Stanford professor Guadalupe Valdes observed that many students from immigrant families often become trapped in dysfunctional English as a Second Language programs and rarely find their way out.

"In the current context in which anti-immigrant sentiment is at an all-time high, newly arrived children are routinely accused by...Read more

If the Latino Vote Keeps Being Taken for Granted, the Sleeping Giant Will Never Wake

CHICAGO -- News stories are starting to trickle out citing "deep concern" about whether Hispanics -- who, polls show, prefer Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump -- will head to polls in the numbers the Democrats need in order to win.

But a better question is: Why should Latinos be expected to turn out to vote when so little attention is paid to ...Read more

Our Nation is in Desperate Need of a History and Civics Revival

CHICAGO -- In our internet-connected world where cute is king and issues of substance tend to be discussed only if there's a catchy meme to share, people are far likelier to know that Sept. 17 was National Apple Dumpling Day than that it marked the beginning of Constitution Week.

Pity the starry-eyed individual who wrote the official ...Read more

Think You Can Raise Bilingual Children?

CHICAGO -- Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mark Sanchez. You have given a flicker of hope to all of us Hispanic moms who bemoan the fact that we weren't able to raise our kids to speak both English and Spanish.

Sanchez, the Mexican-American NFL quarterback who earlier this month signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys, recently spoke ...Read more

The Myth of Immigrants and Crime

CHICAGO -- Depending on the mood of the country, immigrants are either welcome additions to a melting pot that always needs youth, or they're a pox upon our country, contributing to violence, crime and disease. But research dating back at least a century unequivocally shows that the foreign-born are involved in crime at significantly lower rates...Read more

To Fight Child Obesity, Encourage Kids to Work Their Hearts

CHICAGO -- Our children's hearts are in danger.

High rates of obesity are translating into rapidly growing numbers of children suffering from diseases that used to be seen only in middle age and beyond. According to a recent scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA), a large proportion of U.S. children fail to meet the ...Read more

Latinos have a date with the ballot box

CHICAGO -- Depending on which political prognosticators you listen to, Latinos won't show up at the polls this November either because the presidential candidates aren't palatable or because Latinos just don't vote.

Both of these scenarios are plausible and neither is good for democracy in a country where Hispanics represent a steadily ...Read more

Juan Gabriel's Legacy Reached Beyond Music

CHICAGO -- If you've been seeing a lot of "#QEPD" on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds lately and aren't quite sure what it means, this is for you.

The acronym comes from the Spanish words "Que En Paz Descanse" which translates into "Rest In Peace." It has lately been in reference to Juan Gabriel, the larger-than-life Mexican ...Read more

Those Who Trump Has Vilified Won't Forget

CHICAGO -- After flipping and flopping on the topic of immigration, perhaps Donald Trump has learned this lesson: His fans are not thirsting for a more humane, welcoming Republican candidate.

Trump's supporters like him when he is at his most bigoted and most xenophobic. They adore his finger-pointing rants. And they love him specifically ...Read more

Standardized Testing is Imperfect But Necessary

CHICAGO -- A recent column about my return to the teaching profession pleased many readers who wrote to congratulate me.

One longtime reader good-naturedly ribbed me for past columns in which I had expressed support for standardized testing: "Please contact me the moment you have the 'standardized tests are a waste of time' epiphany. It will be...Read more

One Man's Clutter Could Be Another Man's Treasure

CHICAGO -- In a recent op-ed piece, Stephanie Land characterized the de-cluttering craze, popularized by Marie Kondo's best-selling "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," as a form of class-based scorn.

"In a new documentary about the movement, bad' consumption is portrayed by masses of people swarming into big-box stores on Black Friday, ...Read more

Trump's Ideological Test for Immigrants is Absurd

CHICAGO -- The perverse thing about ideologues is that they're easy to dismiss when they say something blatantly outlandish.

About a week ago, Donald Trump said that President Obama was the founder of the terrorist group ISIS, also known as the Islamic State. When a conservative radio host subsequently gave the GOP nominee a chance to back ...Read more

For This Returning Teacher, An Uplifting View of Hispanic Students

CHICAGO -- Like millions of children across the country, last week I went back to school.

After 10 years of being away from the classroom, I'm teaching high school students the same age as my own children. Lots of things are the same as when I last taught, and others are quite different -- such as the technology used to teach, plan lessons, ...Read more

Why So Few Hispanics in the Government Workforce

CHICAGO -- When President Obama leaves office in January, his legacy -- in many Hispanics' minds, at least -- will largely be defined by his record number of deportations.

Despite his executive actions to keep certain unlawfully present immigrants from being deported, Obama has distinguished himself by sending more than 2.5 million unauthorized...Read more


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